Art

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Art

Complex Bent Wire Portraits by Spenser Little Become Street Post Accessories

September 29, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Photograph: © Julie

California-based artist Spenser Little has spent the past 15 years creating sculptures by bending and cutting wire into figurative portraits and phrases. His lightweight pieces have been installed on lamp posts and other existing structures around the world and have also been exhibited in numerous gallery shows.

According to Little, a few of his sculptures combine multiple pieces and include moving parts, though most of his work is made using one continuous piece of wire. The artist bends the rigid material using a pair of needle-nose pliers until it fits the image of his subject or his imagination. The work ranges from playful figures that interact with their surroundings to pointed commentaries on an internet and tech-obsessed society. Collectors encounter the sculptures framed and presented in a gallery setting, while others wire portraits have been left behind for pedestrians and explorers to find deep in caves and high above the streets.

Head over to Thinkspace Gallery to browse Spenser Little’s available pieces, and follow the artist on Instagram to see where his sculpture-leaving travels will take him next.

Photograph: © Julie

Photograph: © Julie

Photograph: © Julie

 

 



Art

African Fabrics Connect to Form Quilted Portraits of Black Figures by Bisa Butler

September 28, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Broom Jumpers. Credits: Ian Rubinstein / Claire Oliver Gallery

Brooklyn-based artist Bisa Butler (previously) uses brightly colored cotton, wool, and chiffon fabrics with bold patterns to piece together quilts featuring detailed portraits of Black people. The materials and themes connect American subjects with their African roots and tell visual stories of history and culture.

Butler is a New Jersey-born African American artist with Ghanian heritage. A closer look at her portraits reveals intricate mosaics of shapes and patterns and complex multi-hued skin tones. For her James Baldwin-inspired piece “I Am Not Your Negro,” Butler created a portrait of a man seated in a pose similar to Rodin’s “Thinker” and a warm complexion inspired by The Fire Next Time, an important book written by Baldwin that was first published in 1963. “I used reds and oranges in his complexion to indicate this while this man sits calmly [there] is fire inside,” Butler said in a statement. “I use colorful imaginative colors in my figures because I am connecting color to emotion and I want their images to indicate a personality, mood, and temperament.”

The artist’s quilts also incorporate nods to Black wedding traditions, references to historically Black colleges and universities, and other elements that speak to the Black and African American experience. The Katonah Museum of Art is set to host the artist’s first solo museum exhibition with approximately 25 of her quilts on display from March 15 to June 14, 2020.

To learn more about the Bisa Butler’s work, head over to the Claire Oliver Gallery website and follow the artist on Instagram.

I Am Not Your Negro

Dear Mama

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (detail)

Kindred

To God and Truth (detail)

To God and Truth (detail)

Bisa at work

Bisa at work

 

 



Art

Unfolding: A Monograph Cataloging a Decade of Matthew Shlian’s Sculptural Paper Artworks

September 27, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Over the last several years, we’ve been endlessly fascinated by the artistic practice of Matthew Shlian (previously). The Michigan-based artist uses paper as his medium of choice, transforming the seemingly ordinary material into large-scale sculptural installations. Dizzying tessellations, dramatic textures, and vibrant colors are hardly recognizable as the same element that bears receipts, resumes, and book pages.

Shlian’s latest endeavor brings his medium circle: Unfolding is his new book, published with Thames & Hudson’s ‘Volume’ platform. Unfolding is Shlian’s first monograph, cataloging the artist’s best work from the past decade. The Volume program allows customers to purchase high-quality art books using a crowdfunding methodology.

The 256-page book is available for pre-order via Volume, where it has already exceeded its $20,000 publishing threshold. In addition to copies of the editioned book, Shlian is also offering signed prints and collaborative records as premium packages. See more of Shlian’s oeuvre on Instagram, and at Material Properties, a group exhibition curated by Colossal on view through October 19, 2019 at Paradigm Gallery + Studio in Philadelphia.

 

 



Art

Sorrowful Sculptures Designed in a Three-Part Collaboration Meditate on Life, Loss, and Regeneration

September 27, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

In a limited edition of 12 new sculptures created in a unique three part collaboration, weeping women mourn a decomposing figure. The cast white figures, partially collapsed in a kneeling pose, embrace amorphous forms that ooze and drip. Countering the somber tone of each sculpture, colorful coral and mushroom-like shapes grow from the decomposition, uniting life and death and forging new growth from the loss.

To create this body of work, sculptor Stéphanie Kilgast (previously) partnered with illustrator Miles Johnston (previously) who conceptualized the base sculpture, and multi-disciplinary production facilitator MoonCrane Press who created the cast.

In a statement on the collaborative project, Kilgast explained that “I added life with my mushrooms, because, whatever happens, life always keeps going. Even if it’s just on a bacterial level. Another way of seeing this sculpture is to see the woman crying not over a human being but over the 6th mass extinction of nature that is currently happening.”

The series is sold out, but you can explore more of Kilgast, Johnston, and MoonCrane on their Instagram profiles.

 

 



Art Photography

Flower Blossoms Envelop Solitary Figures in Fares Micue’s Self-Portrait Photographs

September 26, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Golden Girl”, All photographs shared with permission of the artist

Spain-based photographer Fares Micue uses herself as a muse in spare, otherworldly portraits. Mostly set on plain backgroundsthough Micue does occasionally shoot on locationeach photograph depicts the artist incorporated with a botanical element. In some works, Micue’s face is obscured in a glass bowl sphere bursting with flowers; in others, blossoms cascade down her shoulders.

“It always starts with an idea in my head and the feeling I want to portray. Most times I create a sketch of the image I want to create together with as many details as I can get like colors, mood, location, clothing, props, etc… as well as a short story about the image,” Micue says. Even when working indoors, the artist uses exclusively natural light, and also utilized Photoshop to edit her final images in a way that matches her inner vision.

The photographer shares with Colossal that she is self-taught and started exploring the medium as a hobby in 2009. Micue grew to love the process of creating and critiquing each image as a conceptual work. In pursuing her work more seriously, the artist explains, she hopes to cultivate a range of emotional responses in viewers similar to how she feels in conceptualizing her photographs.

You can see more of Micue’s self-portraits on Instagram and her Saatchi Art profile, where limited edition prints are available for purchase. (via The Jealous Curator)

“Overthinking”

“Hunted”

“Eternal Sunshine”

“Lovely Us”

“Utopia”

“Celestial Girl”

“Deeply in Love”

“Tree of Life”

“Hanabi”

 

 



Art Illustration

Scribbled Portraits of Brooding Figures by Adam Riches

September 25, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Artist Adam Riches uses pen and ink to create frenetic portraits of brooding anonymous figures. The monochrome illustrations emerge out of blank backgrounds, with broad, gestural lines skittering and looping across the paper. Often, pen drawings fall into two stylistic categories: contour drawings that capture the outlines and edges of their subject, or super-smooth ones that seem to defy the fine point of the pen with layered hatch marks. In forging his own style, Riches uses highly varied density in his mark-making to create volume and suggest shadows, while also utilizing each line as a distinctive shape. In a recent video interview with BBC, the artist explains, “the drawings are quite intuitive and are done spontaneously. They reveal themselves as I’m making them.”

Riches will be showing his work at PULSE Art Fair in Miami Beach in December, 2019, and his artwork is available for purchase through Nadia Arnold. See more of the artist’s scribbled portraits as well as his work in charcoal on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

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Art Craft

Hundreds of Ceramic Circles are Linked Together in Movable Sculptures by Cecil Kemperink

September 25, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Ceramic artist Cecil Kemperink creates delicate chain sheets using hundreds of interconnected ceramic loops. The chains are then draped in piles, forming malleable sculptures that are simultaneously hulking and fragile. Kemperink generally uses a minimal color palette, highlighting the natural tone of the clay while using subtle ombrés to accentuate the multiple parts within each finished work. With a multi-faceted background in dance and fashion, “her sculptures show the connection between her various passions. She investigates ‘space’ and plays with rhythm, form, movement, energy and sound,” according to a statement on Kemperink’s website. The Dutch artist’s most recent solo exhibition, which closes on September 29, 2019, is at Musea della Ceramica in Mondovi, Italy. See more of Kemperink’s work on her website and Instagram, where she often shares videos of in-progress work and records the transfixing sounds of her sculptures in motion.

 

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